There is a section of property along Dolington Road in Bucks County, PA, that has been dedicated as farm land. Nothing can ever be built on it; it has been legally designated as land to be perpetually farmed. This year the farmer planted corn on both sides of the road for as far as the eye can see. The dried stalks of the corn plants now stand in orderly rows like marching soldiers and remind me of the great harvest that was produced from those stalks. They also remind me that this is the time of the year when we are to celebrate the final feast of the Lord.
The Jewish people call the final feast Sukkot or The Feast of Tabernacles. It is also referred to as the Feast of Ingathering. It follows Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Together, the three feasts are meant to be rehearsals for what will be the Greatest Harvest of all times. These feasts speak a prophetic word about the future. While the spring feasts have been fulfilled through Jesus (Yeshua) and the Holy Spirit, we still look to God to fulfill the fall feasts. We believe that Yeshua will return in victory to set up His Millennial Kingdom during this time.
During the past week, Jews and Gentiles who understand the significance of God's appointed feasts have been celebrating Sukkot. The Feast foreshadows the celebration that will take place in the Millennial Kingdom when we will tabernacle with Yeshua. Asher Intrater, Messianic Jew and founder and leader of Revive Israel, tells us that Sukkot "is the culmination of all the Biblical holy days, and therefore represents the final stage of the plan of salvation. After the great war of the end times and the second coming of Yeshua. (Zechariah 14:1-15) Those who survive of all the nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16-21)"
When we look at the elements involved in celebrating Sukkot we see how they draw us to be part of the Great Harvest. In addition to living in Sukkahs for seven days, the Jews would gather at the Temple to watch the priests perform a water libation ceremony. A gold vessel would have been filled with "living water" from the Pool of Siloam; a silver vessel would have been filled with wine. Each day, for six days, the priests carrying the vessels would approach the altar of sacrifice and march around it once. Then together they would empty their vessels on the altar at the Temple. On the seventh day the priests would march around the altar seven times. Excitement would build before they poured out the wine and water on that final day of Sukkot.
John 7:37-39 shows us how Jesus celebrated this Feast and made it known that Sukkot is all about Him. "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' By this He meant the Spirit whom those who believe in Him were later to receive..."
The seventh day of the Feast is meant to be the culmination of the celebration. It occurs in the seventh month of Tishrei that is associated with the Hebrew letter LAMED which signifies our yearning to return to the absolute source. It is believed that Jesus will return as our victorious King during the fall feasts. He was poured out as a sacrifice for us so that we could be a part of the Great Harvest. The agricultural harvest that we see this time of the year should remind us of the great harvest of souls that will happen at the end of the age. (Revelation 14:14-15) In the meantime, the Lord invites us to tabernacle with Him so that we will remember how He has provided for us and look forward to the day of the Greatest Harvest.
Joan E. Mathias